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Bank of England keeps rates at record low as economy slows

The so-called "super Thursday" release of economic data from the Bank will also be eyed closely for further signs of a household borrowing bubble after the Bank raised concerns about debt levels and launched a review into consumer lending standards.

A Reuters poll last month showed only seven out of 38 economists expected a rate cut this year, down from 21 out of 36 earlier.

The steady outlook for growth contrasts with a sharp slowdown in the official measure of growth seen at the start of this year, when the economy expanded just 0.3% on the quarter - less than half its rate at the end of last year.

He said growth and inflation could easily exceed the BoE's forecasts made in February, although his comments came before poor economic growth figures for the first quarter.

The Bank of England said its latest forecasts assumed "that the adjustment to the United Kingdom's new relationship with the European Union is smooth".

The Bank also expects inflation will be higher than previously expected; peaking at 2.8% this autumn.

"Carney went on to warn that the pinch on consumer incomes was likely to increase as price inflation moved above wages", said Hewson.

The company said there was now "a low likelihood" that the drug would be approved this year.

The small downgrade comes after a first quarter in which slower consumption put a brake on growth, with a weak 0.3 per cent quarterly expansion that surprised many economists.

The BoE will want to keep its options open, as it always does. In the minutes of that meeting, some members said it would take "relatively little" upside news to consider a need for tightening.

French voters in Slovakia elected Macron
Macron's 577 candidates are expected to be announced Thursday and Macron himself will be sworn in on Sunday. Despite her defeat, the results also made record for Le Pen's far-right National Front (FN) party.

James scores 35, Cavs take 3-0 lead with 115-94 victory
Irving scored 16 points and Kyle Korver had 14 for the Cavaliers, who have posted three straight double-digit wins over Toronto. Delon Wright's basket less than a minute into the quarter was Toronto's only field goal for nearly six minutes.

BCCI likely to pick Indian team for Champions Trophy on May 8
With the new revenue model getting the nod, BCCI will now have to do with what they have in the eight-year cycle. The letter also directed the BCCI not to pull out of the Champions Trophy without their (CoA) consent.

The central bank also indicated that interest rates may need to start to go up within the next couple of years, possibly around the time Britain leaves the European Union in 2019.

Markets are now expecting rates to move higher at the start of 2019.

The BoE's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) also voted 7-1 in favour of keeping interest rates on hold at their record low 0.25 percent this month, quashing some bets in markets that a second official could flip to support a rise.

Outgoing rate-setter Kristin Forbes is likely to repeat her call for a hike to 0.5%.

Carney, who is due to speak after the BoE publishes its May policy decision and new economic forecasts at 1100 GMT, might seek to remind investors and the public that rates are likely to rise at some point in the next couple of years.

Crucially, the BoE slashed its forecast for average earnings growth for this year to 2% from 3% it had indicated February.

Figures from the end of March revealed that real household disposable income, after adjusting for inflation, shrank by 0.4 percent as compared to the previous quarter, the steepest drop in almost three years.

"In the MPC's latest projections there is such a trade-off through most of the forecast period, with a degree of spare capacity and inflation remaining above the 2% target". These projections depend importantly on three main judgements: that the lower level of sterling continues to boost consumer prices broadly as projected, and without adverse consequences for inflation expectations further ahead; that regular pay growth remains modest in the near term but picks up significantly over the forecast period; and that more subdued household spending growth is largely balanced by a pickup in other components of demand.

Carney said he expects real wage growth will eventually pick up, but that there would be "consequences" if it doesn't.

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